“President al-Assad’s First Speech – An Insider’s Account,” by Ehsani

President al-Assad’s First Speech – An Insider’s Account
by Ehsani
For Syria Comment – 19 April 2016

During a recent event at the Council on Foreign Relations, three prominent western Syria analysts met to discuss “the leadership style, psychology, personality, and policies” of President Bashar al-Assad. The moderator started by asking the participants to analyze the President through covering his first speech to the nation on March 30, 2011. One member on the panel, David Lesch, recounted how a confidant of the President who claimed to have seen one draft about an hour before the speech that included concessions and announcements of reforms.  When the President spoke to the Parliament, however, this person was shocked to see that the President read from a different and more hardline version. The implication here is that had the President stuck to the more dovish draft, the Syrian crisis may have turned out differently or even been averted. The conclusion analysts draw from this account is that the President’s decision to embrace regime hawks and reject reforms and use force marked a seminal or “fateful moment” in the crisis.

The only problem with this account is that it is inaccurate. Multiple drafts of the speech did not exist. The Syrian leadership is not in the habit of providing multiple drafts of Presidential speeches. The President did indeed confer with his advisors before addressing the nation, but his final choice was to embrace the advice of regime doves and not regime hawks. If he had followed the advice of his hawks, he would not have given a speech at all.

The President’s more hawkish advisors insisted that any attempt to offer reforms or concessions would be dismissed as too little, too late. Demonstrators would only be encouraged and set the country on the slippery slope to chaos. Hawks viewed the crisis as a matter of life and death for the leadership and the regime. They reminded the president that numerous terrorist and jihadi cells had been penetrated and closed down over the previous years. Any collapse in state security would lead to the quick mobilization of jihadists who were lying in wait for an opportunity to mobilize. Westernized liberals were few and would be quickly swept aside, they insisted. The hawks warned against giving a speech.

Instead of speaking to the nation, this group argued that any hesitation on the part of the President or protracted discussion of reforms would fall short of popular demands, which were unrealizable and becoming more extreme by the day. Instead, the regime hard liners pressed the President to send tanks into the streets. The state must show no mercy, they insisted. It must adopt a shoot to kill policy to avoid any sign of hesitancy. Otherwise, all would be lost. Gentleness would only encourage demonstrators to come out in ever greater numbers. This was the advice of the hard liners; the President did not follow it.

The less hawkish advisors pleaded with the President to speak to the nation. They wanted him to hint at the possibility of rescinding the emergency laws and article 8 of the constitution, the article that establishes the Baath Party as the ruling party. They argued that these concessions would show that the leadership understood the gravity of the situation. By meeting the demonstrators’ demands part way and establish the good will of the president, some of his advisors insisted, the demonstrators would be mollified. They would stop coming out at the call of the organizers. Those demanding regime-change would be isolated and soon defeated.

As the President considered the advice of his contending advisors, the leaders of Qatar were becoming increasingly emboldened. They were playing a leading role in the Libya uprising. Al-Jazeera’s coverage of Tahrir Square was also key to events unfolding in Egypt. The Emir was convinced that Qatar could play a decisive role in shaping Syria’s revolt too. As early as March 6, 2011, Al Jazeera TV reported that Assad was sending pilots to Libya. The evidence is that one had been shot down fighting in support of Gaddafi. The constant repetition of this news sent shock waves through the Syrian populace. Turkey too, got into the act. As the events in Daraa unfolded, Erdogan reached out to Damascus with a suggestion for solving the crisis. He counseled Assad to include the Moslem Brothers in the political process. The Emir of Qatar jumped in behind Erdogan with a promise that Al Jazeera would temper its media coverage of the events in Syria if Damascus embraced the Turkish recommendations. Assad’s rejection of this advice was swift and predictable. He and his advisers interpreted the Qatari and Turkish involvement to be part of a developing plan to sweep away the regimes of the Arab World. He called it a “foreign conspiracy” in his speech. Just minutes after he descended from the podium, the most popular social media site at the time, a Facebook page curated by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote “Is this the speech we were promised? I swear to God, it’s scandalous that somebody like this rules us. To the streets shabab [youth] of Syria!”

In the end, Assad’s speech was a classic case of expectations running ahead of reality. The fact that it was made at all should have been interpreted that the President did not side with Syria’s hawks. Ironically, what happened instead was that as soon as the speech was over, President al-Assad was forever seen as the ultimate hawk himself.

Comments (54)

watani sourya said:

Assad is a prisoner of his latent megalomania, as amplified incessantly, to his detriment, by his own propaganda apparatus. He was not going to let down those who believed in his uniqueness so ‘fervently’, nor will he now.

April 19th, 2016, 1:08 pm


Ghufran said:

As complicated as the Syrian war is, what can bring a breakthrough is regime supporters abandonment of Assad and the opposition divorce of islamists. Easier said than done.

April 19th, 2016, 1:13 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


A news flash for you:

The Jewish murderer of the kid Abu Khdeir convicted of murder and is expecting life in prison

The man suspected of the crime in Duma is in custody, expecting a trial

The soldier who shot the wounded Arab who came to stab Jews, charged in man slaughter and is expecting a trial

At your service.

April 19th, 2016, 1:18 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Just for your information, there are no trials in the Arab world, because they have no need for them.

But thanks anyway for the info.


April 19th, 2016, 3:23 pm


David Lesch said:

Since Ehsani brought up my name, my talk, and my essay in Syria Comment published recently that was entitled, “Asad’s Fateful Choice,” I feel compelled to respond. First of all, the title “An Insider’s Account” is totally misleading. I happen to know that Ehsani was not a part of regime at the time of Asad’s speech and, as far as I know, has never been; indeed, he was not even in Syria at the time. So, how can this be an “insider’s account”??? At best, Ehsani, whose writings I usually enjoy, gathered information second hand from a real regime insider. Then again, what really is an “insider”? is this someone who was actually involved in the speech process or someone who is now close to Asad b/c of the war? The information I carefully research and corroborated came from four separate sources who were (are) close to Asad and who were definitely present in close proximity to him at the time of his March 30th, 2011 speech. Now, we are all subject to the potential agendas of second hand sources, the same as Ehsani, which is why I approached four different sources on this and corroborated the information. In the end, who knows, Ehsani may be correct b/c of our lack of first hand information, but to call this an “insider’s account,” which makes it seem as if my essay was total speculation from afar, is totally, absolutely wrong and misleading. David Lesch

April 19th, 2016, 3:26 pm


Atassi said:

I have no doubt in my mind, the only solution to this war would be a concession from both sides, Assad must be forced to realize he can’t win by slaughtering all his opposition into submission..
The opposition too must amend the demands and comprehend the painful fact that Assad after five years of murdering the Syrians still holds a peculiar type of support from some of our fellow Syrians and the grasp the fact that the opposition unsuccessful or did not exert strong effort to win them…
Assad and his allies still capable of keeping Syria in a stalemate and still has the ability to push for a deal, unfortunately we Syrians still can’t identify the magic fundamental to a fair solution.
Assad will never be a unity factor of the Syrian people as a whole, he is unifying factor of his loyalist only.

April 19th, 2016, 3:48 pm


mvlazysusan said:

Q: How much political power did Assad Jr. have when he was curling corneas in London?

Please make a year-by-year time-line starting from Assads days in a London hospital practicing medicine, showing the amount of political power Assad had, and have that time-line extend to today.

April 19th, 2016, 6:16 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

It is good to hear from Ehsani
Assad was surrounded by Hawks and extreme Hawks , there is no doves, Assad is a dictator , he thinks like a dictator he acts like it and plans like , ,only dictator gas his people with chemical weapons , only dictators massacre , and destroy all the country , murder half a million , .
Dictator like Assad never intended to give concessions , he has only one solution to those who demand some freedom , kill them al

As for give concessions , never

April 19th, 2016, 6:35 pm


Tara said:


Good! The judicial system in any government that respects itself must not be owned by religious establishment or by individual otherwise it is not a country, it is a thuggery .

I am wondering however what is the percentage of Israeli citizen support life in prison for the later case?

Akbar- in Syria and I am sue in every other Arab country, there is no independent judiciary. All elements of the government and of the religious establishment is owned by the leader. Assad, an Alawi owns the Sunni establishment in Syria. He owns the court, the judges , the mosques, the imams and the sheiks. He owns all their fatwas too.

April 19th, 2016, 8:32 pm


Ghufran said:

Hamad Bin Jadem the sneaky ex Qatari PM told the financial times that Iranians did a better job than arabs in negotiating with the West, he also thanked obama for being frank with the GCC adding that arabs are not good allies !!

April 19th, 2016, 8:44 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Thanks for admitting what everyone wants to sweep under a rug. This is why BDSers are phony.

April 19th, 2016, 10:18 pm


Syrialover said:

I’m very happy to see Ehani here again. His posts on SyriaComment in the past were wonderful. I keep a number of them on file.

The underlying assumption in the post above is that there was an alternative to the violent implosion of Syria under the Assads.

Many feel it was inevitable with the challenges of the 21st century. That Syria in the grip of dictatorship was on a doomed trajectory, unsustainable, sick and hollow at the core.

Any “reforms” could only be symbolic tinkering with a rusted-out, unworkable machine missing vital parts.

MAJEDKHALDOUN in #6 gets it right. Very right.

I wonder if Ehsani shares this view.

April 20th, 2016, 6:16 am


Syrialover said:

Nice well-founded, well-aimed bit of litigation.

Story: “Family of slain [US] journalist Steven Sotloff sues Syria”


WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) — The family of slain journalist Steven Sotloff is suing Syria, claiming the government supported the Islamic State militants who beheaded the man.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Washington, D.C., seeks $90 million in compensatory damages and up to three times that in punitive damages for Sotloff’s beheading in 2014. He was kidnapped in August 2013 after crossing into Syria from Turkey. The video of the beheading was distributed around the world.

The family claims the basis for the suit is that the Islamic State “greatly benefits from the material support provided by the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Damages are sought to punish the defendant for “its conduct in supporting the murderous acts described herein and to serve notice that the rule of law can and will be used to deter state sponsorship of terrorism against citizens of the United States of America.”

COMMENT: A speck in the ocean of Assad and ISIS crimes, but it helps put their connection in the spotlight.

April 20th, 2016, 6:34 am


Observer said:

Finally something refreshing and to the core of the issue.
The contention is really whether there is any possibility of reforming the regime without causing its demise as the security house of cards built by the father makes it impossible to conduct a coup but alas also makes it impossible to evolve and adapt and reform itself into true civil society institutions. The regime has to be uprooted fully for reform to happen and yet the idea of a national unity government is a way to dismantle the regime slowly and more peacefully and here we have another new impasse.
As the economy tanks and the recruitment of troops withers there is now a full war by proxy in which the regime allies have to send in troops and planes to prop it up. In the meantime with the loss of monetary value criminality is thriving and contaminating the entire region from Jounieh’s night clubs to Latakia’s kidnapping sprees.

This is from the regime side news today as to the breakdown of law and order


April 20th, 2016, 6:40 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


“…I am wondering however what is the percentage of Israeli citizen support life in prison for the later case?”.


Here’s a video from last evening, Tuesday. A demonstration in Tel Aviv, with several thousands attendees, who call for the release of the soldier who shot the wounded stabber in Hebron, and for dropping of all charges against him. After all, they say, he came to kill so he should be killed.

I cannot quantify the percentage; so far the judiciary (state and military) remain independent and professional.

April 20th, 2016, 8:40 am


Akbar Palace said:


This is what one liberally-mided arab said on another website I participate on:

The Muslims in particularly, what’s up with Islam? What’s happening. The hate levels are so ugly
The only way for Peace in Islam is if both make Peace with Their Jewish Cousins. It’s the Only Bridge out of total decay.

Posted by Vulcan | April 1, 2016, 12:18 am

Make Peace now Arabs

Posted by Vulcan | April 1, 2016, 12:19 am

La Paz ya Almaz

Posted by Vulcan | April 1, 2016, 12:22 am

He’s right. Once peace between arab and jew can be realized, what would be the problem?? Palestinians would have their country, business would be good, people would stop being killed.

The only thing getting in the way are the SELF-ELECTED DESPOTS, TOWEL-HEADS and KINGS.

That’s one, HUGE road-block don’t you think??

April 20th, 2016, 11:46 am


Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Ehsani:

One comment on the title of you article: “President’s al-Assad’s First Speech – An Insider’s Account”: From methodological point of view you should mention the name of that “insider” that you are referring to in your article or at least hint to his or her position inside the regime. That would give certain credence to the account.

From factual point of view, the speech was very bad not because of what the president promised to do or he did not promise to do, but because of certain words and certain body gesture that he used during the speech. For example, the use of the word “microbes” to describe the demonstrators and his flagrant smile, while the country is boiling and people are dying in the streets every day. Both of these gave the impression to the demonstrtors that there was a complete disconnection between the president and them. Particularly, his smile has nothing to do with advisors. It has to do with the president own personality.

April 20th, 2016, 12:08 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Mr. Khoury,

I can sympathize. I can’t imagine such a disconnect. In the West we replace governments we don’t like. We prosecute leaders who break the law. No one is beyond the law except in the Middle East.

Who will fix it?

April 20th, 2016, 2:21 pm


Observer said:

Here is the regime’s logic from the first day and it continues. Italy has a mafia and in Syria the mafia has a country


April 20th, 2016, 2:27 pm


Tara said:


Akbar, the first thing I’d do to achieve world peace is to get rid of those across all religions . This is the image of Sunni sheikh in Aleppo owned and operated by the regime… This is a good profession that earn you money, lunches, followers, government sponsored trips and Mercedes at time. Believe me, I know. . It gave my neighbor in the US , a Christian perist, a 1.5 mil dollar house and giving wali faqih billions of dollars at his disposal.

The Sunni ones owned by the regime teach people to obey the ruler and warn of sedition .

I would also get rid of all Christian patriarch and rabbis and any one with towel on their head or any kind of fabric.

People with fabric on their head disgust me. Somehow, the fabric give them a great ability to brainwash…. They mutter something with God in it and voila … And they are for rent .

Rent -a – sheikh Corp .

April 20th, 2016, 4:09 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Haha, I’m with you Tara!

Good post!

April 20th, 2016, 6:16 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Can I join you AP & Tara?

April 20th, 2016, 11:48 pm


ALAN said:

The Saudi rulers – as corrupt, autocratic and reprehensible as they are – are little more than slavish middle-mangers of the American-Zionist Empire, a far cry from the domineering Caesarian overlords that the deceptive mainstream media and some Zionist apologists in the alternative media want to make them out to be. Middle-managers cannot organize the biggest conspiracy of the 21st century, hoodwinking the world’s foremost superpower and somehow managing to get away with it.
Hold your breath…

April 21st, 2016, 1:04 am


Ghufran said:

The speech mentioned in the post disappointed most Syrians and was interpreted as a sign that Assad was either as bad as his hawkish advisors or he was not in charge. It also showed that Assad junior did not inherit his father’s global view and pragmatic approach to problems. It does matter in most governments ,not just those in the third world , who the leader is and how he or she reaches decisions. The post did not point to a possible Iranian involvement at that time and whether the famous bombing of a meeting of high ranking officials in July 2012 was actually an inside job.
Hardliners on both sides were happy because they never believed in compromise or sharing power. I do not believe that giving concessions to islamists would have made any difference, indeed Assad released hundreds of islamists in 2011 and 2012 with no positive results, some even argued that the release was a cynical attempt to radicalize the rebel movements and push back secular figures who were either arrested, kept in prison or forced out of the country.
Assad and his regime survived 5 years of attacks but at the end of the day Syria moved from being a sick patient to becoming a patient in critical care who may live but with long lasting or permanent disabilities. The lack of a national dialogue early in 2011 allowed foreign powers from both sides to control Syria’s fate, for that alone Assad must depart but only as part of a comprehensive deal that protects the army and people who believe that their future depends on preserving a balance of power that prevents islamists from taking over and handing Syria to the GCC and Turkey.

April 21st, 2016, 1:20 am


Observer said:

Syria report has the front article regarding the economy: it will cost $ 180 billion to reconstruct Syria and there is only $ 700 million left in currency reserves in the Central Bank coffers down from $ 20 billion.

There was never any idea of a political solution or compromise from the regime side from day one hence the choice to use force. Now there is no possibility of a military victory by either side hence the attempt to revive the political solution. But if this does not tackle the root cause of the conflict from the get go it will only prolong the situation or at best postpone a second conflagration in a few years: case in point Lebanon where by the cicicl war is continuing today by other means.

April 21st, 2016, 8:37 am


Sami said:

multiple drafts or a single draft it’s all anecdotal. The speech he gave is what matters and nothing about that speech can be seen as “meeting at a half way point” in my opinion.

The sham election, and lifting of the emergency law was a ruse for international consumption rather than to appease the protestors. Assad and his security forces would always control whatever outcome they wished, and would continue to disappear any moderat dissenting voice.

Omar Aziz was arrested and murdered by regime thugs after the emergency law was rescinded, while thugs like Alloush were given amnesty and released from prison. Make no mistake about it, these were calculated and cynical moves.

There was no irony in him becoming the ultimate hawk, the speech conveyed exactly what it Assad and his advisors wanted.

April 21st, 2016, 8:42 am


Akbar Palace said:


Yes, but you have to join Likud first. Lol.

April 21st, 2016, 9:28 am


Norman said:

What happened and how the crises started is something for historical debate, where we are now and how to get out of this crises is what we need to find,

I think that for a united, safe secular Syria with the Syrian Arab Army supported by all to spread government control over all of Syria, president Assad should not run in the next election as long as what i said of united secular safe Syria is achieved, but he can run in following elections if he wants and has the support , rethinking the past might be good for historian but i do not think that it will change anybody’s mind on what happened

April 21st, 2016, 9:31 am


Mina said:

“Guess what? We had a ship, it was called the Cape Maid, it was parked out in the Med. The Syrians would let us destroy this stuff [the chemical weapons]… there was 1,308 tons that was shipped to the port…and we had, guess what, a forensic unit out there. Wouldn’t we like to really prove—here we have all his sarin and we had sarin from what happened in Ghouta, the UN had a team there and got samples—guess what?

It didn’t match. But we didn’t hear that. I now know it, I’m going to write a lot about it.

Guess what else we know from the forensic analysis we have (we had all the missiles in their arsenal). Nothing in their arsenal had anything close to what was on the ground in Ghouta. A lot of people I know, nobody’s going to go on the record, but the people I know said we couldn’t make a connection, there was no connection between what was given to us by Bashar and what was used in Ghouta. That to me is interesting. That doesn’t prove anything, but it opens up a door to further investigation and further questioning.”

April 21st, 2016, 10:05 am


Hopeful said:

#25 Sami

Thank you for keeping them alive in our memory. For those who do not who Omar Aziz is, read https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/22/syria-activist-dies-jail-second-feared-dead

April 21st, 2016, 10:16 am


Akbar Palace said:


If Human Rights Watch spent more time critical of Arab regimes than their Israeli obsession, maybe these regimes would get the hint. Nope, they’ve only been emboldened: Russia, Iran, Syria, China, North Korea.

In any case, these international organizations are totally impotent. Obama gives the world a glimpse of what happens when the world’s most powerful democracy decides to bury its head. Quite a dangerous world.
Buy a gun and hope you don’t have to use it.


April 21st, 2016, 2:37 pm


Ghufran said:

Saudi Arabia wants to either force a change in US policy or move towards Turkey and Israel to repair its broken position in the region, however it is unlikely that the US will submit to saudi wishes and the second option of relying on Israel and Turkey is very risky and can only reduce the kingdom’s ability to influence events in the region. A better choice is to admit defeat and try to bring the cold peace with Iran as obama suggested. Obama since 2002 made it clear that he is no fan of the Wahhabi kingdom and even republicans are not sure how helpful is ksa to US interests today given its bismal human rights record, its bloody war on Yemen, the sharp decline in oil prices and Saudi support of islamist movements around the globe. Watch for the 9/11 new , or old, report and the proposed law to allow the targeting of those who funded Alqaeda, some of whom have links to the royal family. The clownish attempts to accuse Iran for 9/11 and the lawsuit against Syria (for the murder of an American by isis) are distractions, we all know where the beef is.

April 22nd, 2016, 2:07 am


Akbar Palace said:


Get real. Iran is no better than the KSA, except the Iranians are close to having the “bomb” and threaten other states. They are both smelly khara. Any questions?

April 22nd, 2016, 8:05 am


Observer said:

Joshua Landis is twitting about how the New Yorker misinforms about the situation in Syria!

Unfortunately the elephant in the room is the huge conflict of interest therein.

It is unfortunate that after more than 50 years of the rule of house of Assad we still have defenders of the indefensible.

Perhaps a chair of American Studies at Homs University is ready to be filled.

April 22nd, 2016, 6:13 pm


Ghufran said:

I stated clearly that the Iranian revolution was not good for the region or Iran and I pointed to the fact that mullahs are corrupt, however animosity towards Iran only benefited Israel and Saudi Arabia and the gulf regimes (not the gulf countries), another reality is that Iran as bad as it is can not reach the level of Saudi Arabia especially in areas like women rights and how national wealth is spent. Just look at how Iran did under sanctions and isolation and compare that to the free ride, as Obama said, KSA had since the 1940s, any country with the KSA’s wealth would have been far better, the Saudi regime should have been at the top of the list of unwanted Governments but Saudi money was always more important than western “ideals” in the eyes of western politicians. It is not a choice between good and bad, it is a choice between bad and worse. Synical and dishonest “analysis” by pro Israel and pro KSA posters is predictable and quite boring.

April 23rd, 2016, 12:15 am


Hopeful said:

# Observer

Thank you for pointing to the article that Josh tweeted about: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/04/20/how-the-new-yorker-mis-reports-syria/

I actually think the article brings some valid points, especially when discussing how the west could have helped the revolution stay peaceful instead of getting dragged into a violent civil war in which Assad would have the upper hand. I quote: “A less biased look at Assad’s words and actions would not absolve him of repression and war crimes, but might suggest that Syria’s opposition had peaceful alternatives to civil war”.

However, the article ignores two important points:

1. Assad had made a lot of enemeies, regionally and globally. His remaining friends were not credible. It would have been predictable that – when and if his people rise against him, most regional and western governments will take a firm stand against him (not an unbiased stand)

2. The only credible sources which would have potentially taken a more neutral stand/look were international media and press, and NGO’s. But with the full knowledge of what his security apparatus was doing, Assad blocked access to international media and NGOs. These organizations would have reported on the brutality of his forces, but they would have also discovered the rise of the violent opposition – allowing perhaps a more careful approach to the crisis by all sides.

So in my opinion, Assad’s missteps go beyond simply the “hawkish stand against the demonstrators”. He led Syria – intentionally or unintentially – into this disasterous civil war, and mismanaged it ever since. I fail to understand how any objective intellectual could see in him anything other than a continuation of the disaster.

April 23rd, 2016, 4:27 am


Observer said:

The problem Hopeful is that those supporting him are not objective: they are sectarian !!!!

The assertion remains and we read it every day from the sectarians here: we want a secular Syria whereby the majority agrees to be fully secular while the minorities remain sect and ethnic based minorities with privileges and special status.

This indicates that the idea of democratic rule with separation of powers and independence of the judiciary is alien to those who continue to support the regime either by outright declaration or by continuous denigration of the opposition. Democratic rule is not majority rule at the expense of others. It is precisely rule by the people while insuring that the dissenters are never excluded or crushed for the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary is crucial for that. Hence the essential point of the new constitution: it has to enshrine these points. We can learn today from the follies of Baghdad not to repeat the same: in Iraq the majority Shia parties are hell bent on excluding others we in Syria when this regime withers away need to make sure we do not repeat the mistakes of Iraq and be fully inclusive. This may mean that some parts of Syria be broken apart but so be it


April 23rd, 2016, 8:18 am


Ghufran said:

The priority is to stop the war, and Joshua is right, a civil non violent or less violent resistance to the regime would have brought better results and less destruction, I talked about this since 2012.
The Islamization of the Syrian society started long before 2011 and the percentage of covered women went up instead of going down compared to the 1960s and 1970s. Assad aids knew very well that their strategic competitor is the seculr opposition which would have been more acceptable to moderate sunnis, minorities and the west, so the regime looked the other way when mosques and religious classes were built and held right and left but was very harsh with non islamist dissidents.
Whether by choice or by a trick, the main opposition shot itself in the foot and betrayed secular Syrians and alienated minorities by endorsing random attacks on the army, allying with terrorist groups and allowing the Muslim brotherhood and foreign countries to ride on its back.
What you read here from some thawrajiyyeh on the subject of secularism and the role of minirities is a reflection of how confused and lost the anti regime camp is today, those prople and the assad supporters too should have accepted a compromise a long time ago but the goal to many foreign powers was not to bring freedom and democrscy but to change the geopolitical map of the region.
The armed opposition were the useful idiots used by anti iran camp and the blood of poor alawites was the fuel that kept the regime running.
أمه فاشله من الألف للياء

April 23rd, 2016, 11:18 am


Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh lost credibility a long time ago when he was backing Bashar Assad since Day 1.

Consequently, no one here has an opinion less worthy than the good professor’s.

April 23rd, 2016, 4:38 pm


Observer said:

There was never one iota of any compromise or hint of a compromise or even allowing anyone to think that there will be a compromise. The security house of cards built by the father to insure a complete block of any possible coup also created the very concept of
Our Leader for Eternity the Assad.

The speech, the position, the actions, the security apparatus, the army within the army, the real and the shadow economies, the criminal and the less criminal melange of all the structures of the state institutions subjugated to the mafia has insured that there will be no compromise.

If there was one hint of a compromise from the regime side we would have seen Sharaa and or Khayer play a role on the high level and local activists allowed to organize people for civic disobedience instead of torturing them to death.

The continued reliance on sectarian militia is also a total lack of compromise and an insistence on the Assad or we Burn Albalad.

In this the regime has been consistent and constant from day one: the opposition moved and morphed and changed and repositioned and whatever wiggling it did but the one that stayed the course was the regime and the slogan is more true today than ever.

The minorities in the ME are finished from the day the Ayatollah landed in Tehran and unleashed the monster called Islamism.

April 23rd, 2016, 6:15 pm


Ghufran said:

Good post. observer.
Assad did not only mismanage the crisis but he inflicted irrepressible damage on alawites including those who had no dog in this war, most alawites looked around and found no ship to jump to and were bombarded with stories, many were true, of fellow alawite civilians captured or killed by islamists who often had joint operations with the FSA, and in some cases the rebels themselves committed the crimes. Combine regime propaganda and rebels war crimes and you get a dish with toxic ingredients where regime change the way rebels want becomes unthinkable even to alawites who were imprisoned by Assad. It is ironic that the islamists managed to absorb the rebels while serving as the unintended regime helper politically !!

April 24th, 2016, 12:52 am


Observer said:

The reality is that what goes around comes around.

The revolution could not remain peaceful for the regime wanted it to be violent so as to paint it in an Islamist hue. The reality is that the prime source of religious bigotry is the regime.

As for the sect the thinking is always the same when one is in power: blindness to realities.

The Maronites gambled they will get all of Lebanon and lost forever; the sect is still gambling that it will have all of Syria again and for eternity and it has lost most of Syria and the only way it can retain its safety is through massive force and massive outside support.

Islamism is here to stay and it has forced itself on the political scene and there is no counter ideology to stop it. Even the regime is claiming its legitimacy through its defense of Islam.

All have fallen into this trap.

The uprooting of the regime is inevitable for the way it was built necessitates its uprooting for progress to occur and hence the quadrature du cercle

April 24th, 2016, 8:17 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Freedom justice and equality , three principles. Assad does not have in his mind , the regime was dictatorial , and sectarian, the regime was never protector of sects only one sect , he treated Kurds with utmost cruelty , and he depended on his sect to keep his chair, and his sect made the mistake of supporting him rather to act patriotically, they wanted to keep the extra privileges they enjoyed, they committed crimes, killing half million syrian, forced millions to become refugees, now they are asking to forgive their crimes, yet they did not repent , and continue to commit crimes, they were supported by Iran and Putin to prolong this shameful massacre of Syrians, Assad would not have survived if it was not for Iran support ,that caused KSA to side with the Rebels, continued destructions of Syria served Israel interest well , so US was not going to support the freedom fighters, Obama is not concerned about freedom and democracy in the Middle East ,he is only concerned about socialist ideas in US and worried about the economy, and was afraid of democracy in the Middle East hence it will not serve his principles, he is hesitant and lack leadership quality, in addition for his crazy idea about Iran deal , which is a very stupid way of dealing with Iran threat, and he instead of solving problems he kept all the problems for the next presidents , and creating more problems for the next president, he will go in history as the least respected American president, and that was a good luck to Assad
Syrians will get their freedom , and they will get rid of Assad, Putin is running out of time, and out of money, both Putin and Obama will lose supporting dictators in the Middle East
As for partition of Syria this will keep a criminal Assad in the north west, it is not a solution

April 24th, 2016, 9:30 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Fire destroyed Asronieh in Damascus, eighty shop burned , people has to evacuate , who did it , ? Iran wanted to expand Ruqieh Mosque, merchants refused to sell , ,now The area is burned, we have another Neiron in Syria , Neiron burned Rome , Assad is burning Damascus, history repeats itself, Souq Al Hal was burned before

April 24th, 2016, 2:42 pm


habib said:

11. Syrialover said:

What a joke. I’m sure the Saudis, Qataris and Turks are having a laugh.

It’s like when Iran was sued over 9/11.

April 25th, 2016, 9:06 am


Badr said:

“The uprooting of the regime is inevitable”

I’m tempted to say that implosion would turn out to be more accurate description than uprooting, but you may have to wait for it a very long time.

April 25th, 2016, 12:07 pm


Ghufran said:

Aksalser finally had the courage to condemn the shelling of civilian areas in Aleppo by rebels.

April 26th, 2016, 12:59 am


Akbar Palace said:


Actually the Supreme Court has already decided to allow victims of Iranian terrorism to collect from Iran’s assets….


April 26th, 2016, 6:50 pm


Ghufran said:

Dozens of civilians were killed in aleppo in the last few days due to air raids by the Syrian and Russian army and rockets from rebels. It is a tit for tat dirty cycle that seems endless. I have nothing but disrespect to those who deny that their side is innocent. One thing for sure, violence feeds violence and 5 years of trying to end the war by military means only brought more misery, death and destruction.
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

April 27th, 2016, 7:20 pm


Ghufran said:

As bloody as the situation in aleppo is it is about to get bloodier. The Syrian army wants to encircle the city and give rebels the choice between fighting to death or withdrawing towards Idleb and other areas. Isis is making advances in the region and rebels defenses will require an urgent boost from Turkey unless Erdogan has secretly signed off on a plan to give up Aleppo. Rebels invaded parts of aleppo uninvited and are directly responsible for transforming Syria’s richest city into a big impoverished prison with vast destruction and misery. Despite 5 years of war many aleppines inside and outside Syria want the rebels out, they may not have had a lot to be thankful for before 2011 but they have nothing to brag about under Nusra and rebels rule. The bloody invasion of Aleppo is about to end in one way or the other.
ثوره غير شكل

April 28th, 2016, 10:34 am


Hopeful said:

#49 Ghufran

“Despite 5 years of war many aleppines inside and outside Syria want the rebels out”

And many aleppines inside and outside Syria want the regime gone and Assad put on trial.

April 28th, 2016, 2:29 pm


Mamuka Maghradze said:

Take the time to visit the me http://whistory.org , and say that the change in design and meniu? Rebels invaded parts of aleppo uninvited and are directly responsible for transforming Syria’s richest city into a big impoverished prison with vast destruction and misery.

April 29th, 2016, 9:16 am


habib said:

47. Akbar Palace

I wonder if the victims of America’s wars (and those of its proxy armies) will ever be able to sue the US?

April 29th, 2016, 9:45 am


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